Tag Archives: Satan

The Proclivities of Evil

The best way to expose evil is through its actions. The proclivities of Satan and Māra are well documented. read more

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Etymology of the Evil Ones

Evil is wide and prevalent in our Saha-World. Unlike the Truth, it assumes an endless array of faces and embeds itself unmercifully in all the assorted-affairs of sentient beings. The dominant Western and Eastern terms for these faces of evil are Satan and Māra. The term “Satan” is derived from a Hebrew term meaning, the adversary. The popular term “Devil” is derived from the Greek, diabolos. Both of these terms are found in the New Testament and later on in the writings of the Church Fathers. Throughout the Millennium he’s also referred to as the “Dark-One”, the “Black-One” and the “wicked-one”; the term, the evil-one appears in a popular translation of the “Our Father” prayer—deliver us from the Evil One. Traditionally, Satan was originally the premier Angel of Light (son of the morning) in Heaven, named Lucifer; through his own conceited vanity, he tried to usurp the very throne of the Most High. John Milton’s Epic poem, “Paradise Lost”, describes this most evil of all adversaries: read more

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Coming Soon: Māra and Satan

On Ash Wednesday, February 18th, roughly 1.2 Billion across the globe will be ushering-in the season of Lent. One of the passages from scripture that always begins this solemn season, is the one in which Jesus is tempted by Satan for 40 days in the Desert. This is a highly symbolic event, since Lent itself lasts 40 days; and so, during this stretch of time, one is asked to do assorted penances and make new resolutions, ones that are in tune with self-denying one’s carnal appetites, in favor of a highly spiritual-makeover. In a very real way, one is also seeking refuge from the forces of evil in the world, ones that are always afoot attempting to wreak havoc on a soul that is trying to better itself. There are parallels in both Christianity and Buddhism that personify these dark forces, the Fathers of Evil if you will. Hence we have Satan, and Māra. Back in 1975, James W. Boyd, published a well-informed book, Satan and Māra: Christian and Buddhist Symbols of Evil. Unfortunately his work is long out of print, but I was recently fortunate enough to find a copy. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, we shall be exploring in depth these interesting parallels between Satan and Māra. It’s by no small chance that Siddhartha Gautama experienced similar inclinations from Māra that Jesus did from Satan throughout his Dark night of the Soul in the desert. read more

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Hope you guess my name

4. The Reluctance of the Bodhisattvas, cont’d

The Buddha then said to the bodhisattva Jagatimdhara, “Jagatimdhara, go to the Licchavi Vimalakirti to inquire about his illness.” Jagatimdhara replied, “My Lord, I am indeed reluctant to go to that good man to inquire about his illness. Why? Lord, I remember that one day, when I was at home, the wicked Mara, disguised as Indra and surrounded with twelve thousand heavenly maidens, approached me with the sounds of music and singing. Having saluted me by touching my feet with his head, he withdrew with his retinue to one side. I then, thinking he was Sakra, the king of the gods, said to him, ‘Welcome, O Kausika! You should remain consciously aware in the midst of the pleasures of desire. You should often think on impermanence and strive to utilize the essential in body, life, and wealth.’ “Mara then said to me, ‘Good sir, accept from me these twelve thousand divine maidens and make them your servants.’ “I replied, ‘O Kausika, do not offer me, who am religious and a son of the Sakya, things which are not appropriate. It is not proper for me to have these maidens.’ “No sooner had I said these words than the Licchavi Vimalakirti came there and said to me, ‘Noble son, do not think that this is Indra! This is not Indra but the evil Mara,who has come to ridicule you.’ “Then the Licchavi Vimalakirti said to Mara, ‘Evil Mara, since these heavenly maidens are not suitable for this religious devotee, a son of the Sakya, give them to me.’ “Then Mara was terrified and distressed, thinking that the Licchavi Vimalakirti had come to expose him. He tried to make himself invisible, but, try as he might with all his magical powers, he could not vanish from sight. Then a voice resounded in the sky, saying, ‘Evil One, give these heavenly maidens to the good man Vimalakirti, and only then will you be able to return to your own abode.’ “Then Mara was even more frightened and, much against his will, gave the heavenly maidens. “The Licchavi Vimalakirti, having received the goddesses, said to them, ‘Now that you have been given to me by Mara, you should all conceive the spirit of unexcelled, perfect enlightenment.’ “He then exhorted them with discourse suitable for their development toward enlightenment, and soon they conceived the spirit of enlightenment. He then said to them, ‘You have just conceived the spirit of enlightenment. From now on, you should devote yourselves to find joy in pleasures of the Dharma, and should take no pleasure in desires.’ “They then asked him, ‘What is “joy in the pleasures of the Dharma”?’ “He declared, ‘It is the joy of unbreakable faith in the Buddha, of wishing to hear the Dharma, of serving the Sangha and honoring the spiritual benefactors without pride. It is the joy of renunciation of the whole world, of not being fixed in objects, of considering the five aggregates to be like murderers, of considering the elements to be like venomous serpents, and of considering the sense-media to be like an empty town. It is the joy of always guarding the spirit of enlightenment, of helping living beings, of sharing through generosity, of not slackening in morality, of control and tolerance in patience, of thorough cultivation of virtue by effort, of total absorption in meditation, and of absence of passions in wisdom. It is the joy of extending enlightenment, of conquering the Maras, of destroying the passions, and of purifying the buddha-field. It is the joy of accumulating all virtues, in order to cultivate the auspicious marks and signs. It is the joy of the liberation of nonintimidation when hearing the profound teaching. It is the joy of exploration of the three doors of liberation, and of the realization of liberation. It is the joy of being an ornament of the seat of enlightenment, and of not attaining liberation at the wrong time. It is the joy of serving those of equal fortune, of not hating or resenting those of superior fortune, of serving the spiritual benefactors, and of avoiding sinful friends. It is the joy of the superior gladness of faith and devotion to the Dharma. It is the joy of acquiring liberative techniques and of the conscious cultivation of the aids to enlightenment. Thus, the bodhisattva admires and finds joy in the delights of the Dharma.’ “Thereupon, Mara said to the goddesses, ‘Now come along and let us return home.’ “They said, ‘You gave us to this householder. Now we should enjoy the delights of the Dharma and should no longer enjoy the pleasures of desires.’ “Then Mara said to the Licchavi Vimalakirti, ‘If it is so that the bodhisattva, the spiritual hero, has no mental attachment, and gives away all his possessions, then, householder, please give me these goddesses.’ “Vimalakirti replied, ‘They are given, Mara. Go home with your retinue. May you fulfill the religious aspirations of all living beings!’ “Then the goddesses, saluting Vimalakirti, said to him, ‘Householder, how should we live in the abode of the Maras?’ “Vimalakirti replied, ‘Sisters, there is a door of the Dharma called “The Inexhaustible Lamp.” Practice it! What is it? Sisters, a single lamp may light hundreds of thousands of lamps without itself being diminished. Likewise, sisters, a single bodhisattva may establish many hundreds of thousands of living beings in enlightenment without his mindfulness being diminished. In fact, not only does it not diminish, it grows stronger. Likewise, the more you teach and demonstrate virtuous qualities to others, the more you grow with respect to these virtuous qualities. This is the door of the Dharma called “The Inexhaustible Lamp.” When you are living in the realm of Mara, inspire innumerable gods and goddesses with the spirit of enlightenment. In such a way, you will repay the kindness of the Tathagata, and you will become the benefactors of all living beings.’ “Then, those goddesses bowed at the feet of the Licchavi Vimalakirti and departed in the company of Mara. Thus, Lord, I saw the supremacy of the magical power, wisdom, and eloquence of the Licchavi Vimalakirti, and therefore I am reluctant to go to that good man to inquire about his illness.” read more

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On Wednesday for many quarters the solemn season of Lent begins. The whole premise is based on the encounter that the Bodhisattva Jesus had with Satan (Mara) in the desert of karmadhautu for 40 days. For many, they just outwardly “deny” themselves something for this time period before Easter rolls-around—but it’s all really just superficial—no true inner Metanoia occurs. Yet, that encounter in the desert is another metaphor for something that constitutes the inner warfare that occurs daily between the force of Good and Evil—that bifurcation that denies the Self its rightful Recollection in the realm of dharmadhatu. That’s the choice really…either to continue bowing allegiance to the collective forces that keep one imprisoned within the samsara of their own mind—or to truly make that inner-turn-about (Metanoia) and awaken to the Noble discovery of Self-Realization that Alone can break the endless karmic cycle of the no-self regenesis. read more

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